After hernia surgery, exercise is held off for at least six weeks to avoid injury to the surgery site. Once that time is up, resuming exercise may seem like a good idea; however pain after exercise can still occur. In some cases, this pain can mean injury while others it can mean overexertion. It is important to follow your doctor's instructions post-surgery and consult him for extreme pain that does not respond to at-home treatment.
After hernia surgery, exercise can be resumed once your doctor approves. Pain that occurs after you have been cleared to resume physical activity has several causes. Overexertion so soon after surgery can cause weakened muscles to become sore and swelling to occur. This is mainly due to lifting of weights more than five to 10 lbs. According to Volker Schumpelick and Robert J. Fitzgibbons, authors of "Recurrent hernia: prevention and treatment," recurring hernia is also a risk following surgery. This is especially true if a mesh has been inserted to prevent hernia formation. Meshes that are too small will not prevent recurrence. Another cause for exercise pain after hernia surgery includes starting an exercise program too soon. This is dangerous as you can cause damage to the surgical site, reopening scars and suffering internal injuries.
Post-exercise pain can be treated at home by applying ice to your abdomen to reduce swelling. According to NavJeevan Hospital's website, avoid lifting any heavy objects or straining your muscles. Rest your muscles, avoiding more exercise in an attempt to work through your pain. If your pain does not respond to your efforts, lasting for more than 48 hours, seek medical attention from your surgeon or general physician.
Medical emergencies after your hernia surgery recovery are still possible. According to "Recurrent hernia: prevention and treatment," any bleeding or swelling of your surgery site requires medical attention immediately. Tears in your scar are also of great concern and pose risk of infection. If you experience problems walking or moving any part of your body, make your way to the nearest emergency room for full evaluation of your injuries.
Without proper medical attention, pain can become disabling. According to a 2006 study by the Department of Surgery in Sweden, 2,299 men and 157 women out of 3,000 test subjects reported their levels of pain based on questionnaire's. Out these responders 31 percent reported mild to moderate pain on a daily basis years after undergoing hernia surgery. Six percent reported debilitating pain that disrupted everyday activity.
- NavJeevan Hospital: About Hernia
- PubMed: Risk factors for long-term pain after hernia surgery.
- "Recurrent hernia: prevention and treatment"; Volker Schumpelick, Robert J. Fitzgibbons; 2007